(El Monte)- Arroyo quarterback Steven Rivera set three school records in the Knights convincing 48-21 victory over the Temple City Rams in “The Mid Valley Classic” on Friday night at B.L. Bergstrom Stadium.
Arroyo Head Coach Jim Singiser was his usual self; “How can a team look this bad and still cause five turnovers?”
The long time coach of the Knights was speaking about his defense’s obvious inability to control the line of scrimmage early on.
“I’m glad he did what he did,” said Singiser. “I’m glad he’s a Knight.”
What Rivera did was complete 30 of 42 passes for 451 yards and six touchdowns, both the yards and touchdowns are new school records. He also added 55 yards on the ground, 51 of them coming on a touchdown run with ten minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Add a 12-yard interception return and his total yardage was at 518 yards, another school record.
Not counting Arroyo’s final possession, which was just an exercise of the ‘victory formation, the Knights scored on seven of ten possessions, punted just twice, and had one drive crash after Rivera was picked off in the end zone.
“He’s entitled to one brain freeze in four years,” said Singiser of Rivera’s errant throw.
Hunter Duran caught 10 of Rivera’s passes for 227 yards and four touchdowns, to bring his career totals to 36 catches and 15 touchdowns.
Running back Peter Aholoka, who rushed for 66 yards on 12-carries, caught a 15-yard pass from Rivera for the game’s first score.
TC answered back as quarterback Mikal Quintanilla used his talented feet and rapidly maturing arm to engineer a quick strike with a 48-yard touchdown pass.
It began a theme of the night, Temple City could score…they just couldn’t score as fast or find a way to stop Arroyo.
Following Rivera’s interception, the Rams went on an 8-play drive that took them 60 yards down the field. Runners Jamie Dea and Roger Tsung were gaining six and eight yard chunks of ground behind an offensive line literally blowing the Knights off the line of scrimmage.
However, it was on a 14-yard run that Dea lost the ball and Rivera took advantage.
Eighty yards, nine plays, and Rivera went 20-yards to Duran for a 14-7 lead. Four minutes later Rivera went 6-yards to Eddie Federico and it was 21-7 with 2:35 to play in the half.
Quintanilla again used his feet and arm to lead the Rams 71 yards for a late score. Tsung capped the drive, highlighted by a 20-yard screen pass to Dea, with a 1-yard run.
With a 1:09 still fat on the first half clock, Rivera went 17-yards to Duran on third and 10 from his own 35. Then 6-yards to Brandon Jauregui and, following a pass interference penalty, to Duran, on a crossing route, who carried the rest of the way for a 28-14 Knights lead.
In the second half Rivera found Duran again for a 22-yard score after a TC turnover and it was 34-14 Arroyo.
The Rams pieced together a 90 yard drive late in the third and scored on a 3-yard run by Tsung with 11-minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
Any thoughts of a comeback ended three plays after the kick-off when Rivera went 51-yards on a keeper to make it 41-21.
With 3:05 to play Rivera and Duran hooked up for the fourth time for a 46-yard score and the record books.
The yardage gave Rivera 451 yards through the air breaking the old mark of 414 set by Gabriel Agredano against Anaheim in 1993.
The touchdown was his sixth, breaking the school record of five shared by Glen Johnson (1968 vs. Los Altos), Gabriel Agredano (1993 vs. Gahr), and Dominic Salmon (2005 vs. Mt. View) and himself (2010 vs. Mt. View).
He also broke Agredano’s all purpose yardage record of 447 (set in 1993 against Anaheim) with 518 yards.
“I’m glad he’s a Knight,” said Singiser. “But we’ve got a lot to yell about. Quintanilla killed us with his feet, we had no contain, when he came out with the ball there was no one there to stop him. Film is not going to be pleasant.”
Arroyo, 2-0, gets Montebello next week, while Temple City, 0-1, hosts Alhambra at home next Thursday.